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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Verdun Howell

Verdun Howell - Australian Football

Member 2013

b. 16 June 1936

A spectacular defender whose attacking style set the template for the modern era, Verdun Howell was part of the great Tasmanian trio - along with Daryl Baldock and Ian Stewart - that played in St Kilda's famous 1966 premiership team.

Verdun was St Kilda's vice-captain of the premiership team which defeated Collingwood in the 1966 grand final by one point.

A half forward during the bulk of the Tasmanian phase of his career with City-South during its run of seven straight grand final appearances between 1950 and 1956, Verdun was transformed by St Kilda into a prototype of the modern attacking full back.

He frequently left his opponent to back his judgment and thrilled crowds with his rebounding play from defence.

A glorious kick and superb overhead mark, Verdun was a star at St Kilda making his debut in 1958 and in 1959 won the club's best and fairest in a stellar season.

At the 1959 Brownlow Medal count, he tied with South Melbourne's Bob Skilton, with the Swans star winning on count back. Thirty years later the AFL awarded Verdun the Brownlow Medal when it changed its policy and awarded medals to those who had tied but lost on count back.

To complete the picture of being a versatile, modern type of player Verdun later in his career kicked many goals playing as a forward and once kicked nine goals in a game against Hawthorn.

He played 159 games with the Saints between 1958 and 1968 and represented Victoria on nine occasions.